Archive for the “Raiding” Category

Well, the big Reveal has taken place at Blizzcon, and we now know details of the next expansion.  Hopefully you followed #TeamFaff at Godmother’s liveblog.  I had to bail out right after the reveal because we had our weekly planning meeting at work, and the boss was most unsympathetic to the cause.

Now that the dust has settled, and I’ve had time to breathe, let’s talk about it.

My Scorecard

I made some cheeky predictions, so let’s see how I did!

There will be an expansion announcement and it will be called "Warlords of Draenor"

WoD LogoThat was a pretty easy one, really.  If they didn’t, it would have been ugly. The title this time was given to us by the trademark offices in several countries.  +2 for me.

It will involve a new "lost" continent of Draenor

WoD ZonesIt’s Draenor, Jim, but not as we know it.  Instead of a lost continent floating about in the Twisted Nether, we’re going back to the past. Specifically, Garrosh escapes captivity and through means as of yet unrevealed, journeys back in time to prevent the Old Horde from becoming subjugated by the Burning legion. What we, the denizens of Azeroth, then face is the Iron Horde – the united fury of the Orc clans united and at full strength.

My score: –1 (net total 1)

Alleria and Turalyon will return

No, they won’t. Though, to be fair, the new world of Old Draenor doesn’t have them to begin with. Since the First War didn’t happen, they didn’t get trapped when the Portal was closed.  But THAT is a whole new can of worms, something I’ll exposit in another post.

Score: –1, for a net of 0.

It will involve the Burning Legion

Not so much. While it’s obvious that the Legion will be involved at SOME point, the net effect is that the Orcs turn their backs on the Legion and the power it offers.  But the overall theme of this expansion is All Orc, All the Time.

WoD WarlordsScore: –1, now netting –1.

Ethereals will be the new player race

There will be no new player races.

-1 for me, for a net of –2. Oh dear.

Outland will not get revamped

Technically true, though they do move the door a bit.  Since the history leading to Outland hasn’t happened, Outland becomes an alternate timeline, and thus its entrance is moved to the Caverns of Time.  Which I have to admit, is a pretty good way to deal with it.

I’m going to claim a win, netting me back to –1.

The new level cap will be 100

Got that one right. So we’ll see a realm first Level 100 in 2 days, not 1.1

+1, back to breaking even.

There are no indications of any new classes

Got that one right, too.  This will make WoD the first WoW expansion where neither a new class or race was introduced.

+1, and I’m back in the black.

Release Date: Holidays, 2014

No mention was made of a release date. This is my surprised face.  Though I keep hearing rumors of a Q1/Q2 release timeframe, there is nothing official to back that up that I am aware of.

No points either way.

You face Jaraxxus!

I was close, but he appears in Hearthstone, not WoD.

-1 to zero me out again.

Character remodels

New Female GnomeI totally didn’t call it, but it’s such a big one that I think I deserve to be dinged for missing it. 

And that’s the news: all character races are to get remodels with higher poly counts and a lot of new emotes and expressions. The samples shown – especially for the female Gnome – were amazing.

There IS a tiny bit of drama here, in that it’s stated that there are currently no plans to offer a free appearance change when the changes go into effect. But the door’s been left open just a crack, so let’s wait and see.

-1, putting me back in the red.

Gender Crisis

No WomenEvery Blizzcon, Blizz tends to offend someone, and this year was no exception.  After the buzz died down, people started noting a highly testosterone-driven theme to this expansion.  Female characters, when mentioned at all, were either minor in comparison, or they were told to go home, take care of the baby, and make Thrall a sammich.

I’ll revisit this at some future time.  Other than to say, if you throw your keyboard over this, you know what happens? It breaks, dumbass.  So I guess you showed them.

RedSo I get a point there, bringing me back to even.

The overall results are

As is usually the case with this sort of thing, if you guess wildly the best you can really hope for is 50/50, which I did achieve.  I was wrong as much as I was right.  But I’m not displeased with the result.

And now the other stuff

One of the big things for this expansion seems to be "systems", our friend GhostCrawler’s domain.

There’s a big change to bags and inventory – a lot of items are going account-wide similar to how companion pets are handled now.  This’ll clear up tons of space in our bags. A lot of materials are going from 20 to 100 per stack, freeing more room. And Tabards are a possibility for this, hooray!  Also, quest items, though I’m worried for Archmage Vargoth’s Staff.

Another big "system" change will be "item squish".  Basically, the huge numbers we currently have will be reduced by several orders of magnitude, possibly to double or even single digit values, with some sort of hidden scaling system to keep it manageable.

Related to that, itemization is changing drastically, with most secondary stats like Hit and Expertise going away and primary stats possibly varying by spec, effectively ending the spec-change-shuffle.

Convenience Features

You will be able to bring one character to 90, or "boost", per account.  So if you decide to change to a different raiding main, for example, you won’t have to spend weeks getting up to raiding level. I’ve been pushing for this for a while, because I hate that the lower level zones continue to get gimped in order to make life easier for raiders. Raiding and the leveling game are two different activities, and changes in one should not make life harder or less satisfying for either group.  By allowing a character boost, they provide raiders with what they want without punishing those that are not raiding. Right now, it’s one per account, but I suspect that there will be infrastructure in place to make additional boosts possible as a paid service. And I think that’s a good thing.

This is actually an "in"-convenience feature, but another bit of drama – including threatened or actual sub cancellations – is that flight will not be available in Draenor until at least the 6.1 patch. I’m okay with that. In fact, if they want to get rid of flight completely, I’d be completely behind it.  But a lot of people are NOT thrilled.

Garrisons

WoD GarrisonGarrisons were an unexpected new feature, which more or less amount to a cross between player housing and the Tillers farm. Other trade skills in addition to cooking will be involved, you get minions, and they can do things for you even while you’re offline.  It’s all rather non-specific right now, and it’s hard to get a read on it, but overall it has been well received.

Raiding

WoD RaidsThe big change to raiding is that all levels of raiding will be flex in WoD except the highest form, which will be called Mythic, and serves a step further than Heroic.  The raid difficulty is tuned for 20 players, which Blizz claims is important since tuning at that difficulty will be too complex otherwise.


And that’s a wrap.  I will be revisiting several of these topics in upcoming posts, but I wanted to first set the stage, as it were, for what is to come.  Specifically, I want to discuss the lore, Blizzard’s ongoing PR issues,  the game mechanics that are changing, and probably more lore, because, damn.


  1. Actually, we won’t, because Realm First achievements are being removed from the game. []

Comments 4 Comments »

While we were offline, events that affect us all took place.  Our guild managed to get its first T141 boss down, without Jasra’s healing touch. The question came up, did they want her back, or a DPS?  I was told, get Flora moving.

So move I shall.

‘Undergeared’ is not exactly the most descriptive term I’d use. I still have several greens.  ‘Undergeared’ doesn’t seem to be a strong enough term!  Dutifully, I drafted a gear plan, and it was unsettling.

Part of the reason for this is the addition of several flavors of random-enchant epics for completing daily heroic scenarios; there is also a random-enchant quest reward from the Darkspear Rebellion. Both of those usually outstrip top-end T15 gear.

So, the Rebellion appears to be the place to be, but there’s a problem – the main quest is a weekly, so once you’ve gotten your 150 bits of various mats, and turned them in, all that’s left is additional collection.  It’s rather daunting, the massive and tedious grind that the next few weeks seem to have in store.  I’ve bitched about dailies, but this seems to be something designed to convince us that dailies aren’t really so bad, after all.

The other half of this is getting my rotation down; Demonology is just plain odd, with the Demonic Fury resource system. Still, I’ve done my homework, and I have something that’s at least passable, even if I have to look down at the keyboard from time to time.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, thank the Light for WeakAuras and/or PowerAuras.

While Thunder Isle appears to be outgeared by the Rebellion, now, I still have some work there; the Green Fire quest is triggered by a book that drops over there, of all places, so I need to grind dailies there until I get that, at least.

It’s funny how much content is completely irrelevant, though. Sure, there are upgrades to be had from Shieldwall and Thunder Isle, but why waste time there when the biggest payoff is to be found in Northern Barrens?  The irony of WoW is that 95% of its content is irrelevant to a raider.

Still, it’s fun to fly the Warlock flag once again. Even if I derp it like a noob.


  1. That is not a typo, we’re not exactly pushign the envelope – or at least not THAT side of it. []

Comments 5 Comments »

It has been months – months! – well, since, like July – since we’ve raided in anger.  No tasty new treats to loot or DE, no goodies to keep even the most discerning loot whores sated. Nada. Bupkis.

Week before last, we had possibly the worst combination of Stone Guard evar, and while we got it down into the 20s or 30s, we never really clicked.  The chains, especially, are horrible, and it’s even worse when you’re chained to a hyperactive druidkitty. Move. Keep up. Because she doesn’t care if you keep up or not.  Honestly, I have no idea how others manage to do that, but they often make it look easy, while I feel like I’ve stumbled into one of those secret levels in Descent. AAAAH I AM NOT PREPARED.

When the raid leader says "DPS needs to do 50K DPS each for us to make the timer" and you’re thinking "I just barely made 40K in all BIS gear in DS!", yeah, there are concerns.  And without our two DPS divas around, we had to make up for it in some way.

I guess the old saying about age and treachery overcoming youth and vigor has a kernel of truth in it. For I’m pretty sure we fell short, individually and collectively, of the DPS goal, but somehow we managed to down the Stone Council early in the evening.  Brain’s fuzzy – might have been a one-shot, but I seem to think we wiped the first time. Still, not bad.   And I got a nice shiny chest piece out of it. Hunter loot: achieved.  After seeing almost nothing but plate in every heroic I’ve done, that’s a nice treat.

Feng’s the next fight, and I’m convinced that we would’ve taken him down this weekend except we didn’t have enough signups to go in on the 2nd night. We got him down into the teens a couple of times. Most of our wipes were due to learning the new abilities and strats. We may not have downed him, but I doubt anyone walked away feeling we didn’t do well.

Eff the Ineffable isn’t cutting edge by any stretch, but we’re progressing nicely on current content, and that’s not a bad thing for a more or less casual weekend warrior kind of guild.   Everyone involved should feel pretty darned good about it.

I’m desperately trying to put together a gear plan, but time just doesn’t seem to appear. And Mondays I’m usually pretty useless if there’s anything new from the Top Gear guys.

An aside: what the heck happened to Mr. Robot? All of a sudden his reforge recommendations are frittering away all of my +hit and +exp well short of the cap. And all haste all the time?  I don’t know if other classes were affected or not, but for BM hunters, things are pretty weird1.


  1. Yes, I saw the note about the hit cap toggle. I checked it. Makes no difference. []

Comments Comments Off

As can be expected of mere mortals, we didn’t get Stone Guard down last night, but we made steady progress to a point, with constant improvement in duration, damage, and survival.

The fight poses many challenges. 

  • The tanks have to get REALLY good at coordination in order to swap statues around.
  • DPS has to stay out of the bad and still be able to quickly switch to the appropriate statues.
  • Ranged DPS has to keep within range of a healer or two.
  • Melee DPS is constantly on the move as the statues get swapped.
  • Situational awareness is a big deal. It’s nice that the RL calls out which statue is up and what you can do about it, but we need to be doing that ourselves so that he can focus on calling swaps.

There are also a few class / spec challenges for myself:

  • Having a pet with an AoE or cleave will help since the boss is a shared health pool, and damaging more than one of the statues will kill it faster1.
  • If you have Glaive Toss2 as your level 90 talent, positioning is important as well as which statue you’re DPSing, otherwise the glaives’ path doesn’t pass through both statues.  In other words, every time the statues are shifted between the tanks, you’re going to have to reposition.
  • The removal of the movement restriction on Cobra Shot can’t come soon enough.
  • If you get chained to a feral Druid, do yourself a favor and just go stand in a big purple pool and die now. Those DPS Kitties bounce around like furry superballs fueled on amphetamines and Red Bull.   You just end up running around a lot, doing no DPS, and wishing that Concussive Shot could be used on friendlies.

My DPS output wasn’t … horrible … for Heroic Morchock.  But estimates show we need 50K DPS out of all bodies, and I wasn’t achieving that. Few people were, and nobody was consistently.  But in a way that’s okay since we’ve never hit the enrage timer yet.

Our biggest challenge? Not murdering each other with the damned chains. I think I’ve mentioned my biggest challenge there.  Second biggest challenge is reading your partner’s mind and not running LEFT when he goes RIGHT after a pool appears under your feets.

While some bemoan that our first raid boss is a Council-style fight, I’m more inclined to view it as a challenge to overcome. When you get these fights down, they’re all kinds of fun, for the most part. And the only reason Magmaw was the first boss in BWD is that nobody wanted to take on Omnomnomnomitron – a council fight – as the first boss –  but we had that option. This is a decent gating boss – if you’re not ready, you won’t make it.

A lot of mumbling about gear.  I’m less inclined to blame my gear for my performance, but this week’s gearing adventures provided that it can indeed make a difference. Fair enough be this, say I.  While the temptation to rush into LFR is strong, I’m going to take some time this week and develop a gear plan to map out what goodies are where. I still have to get Jas up to speed, but MWF I can dedicate to the cause of getting geared, for a while.


  1. Note to Blizz. Having a "Pet ability" key like Warlocks do would be super-helpful for pets like the exotic Worm pet with its AoE attack.  Just sayin’. []
  2. I find the name and the spell totally inappropriate since Hunters now have no melee weapons to throw, but the instant execution is ideal for heavy movement fights. []

Comments Comments Off

For Eff the Ineffable1, it’s opening night. Invites sent and accepted. Gear shined, mogged, and tweaked.  Pets selected carefully and arrayed in the Port-a-Pet.  WeakAuras set up2. Gear gemmed and cogged so that …

Wait …

Cogs?

COGS!

/whips out the Port-a-Anvil

/cogs like a fool

/wipes brow

Okay, AS I WAS SAYING … we’re all cogged up and ready to go!

I’ve mentioned before and it bears repeating, mostly because I babble when excited, that this is the earliest in any expansion’s release cycle that I’ve been part of a raiding team.  As such I’ve not quite settled in to the new features and gearing needs.  Our RL found the gearing inadequate so he dropped a few PvP mail pieces on me, and some mats so I could make the gun and goggles and scope, so I’m more or less around the 450 iLevel now. Can’t complain. The tweaks fetched me another 30-ish% DPS output on individual targets, so all I need to do now is fine-tune to spread that out to a more average output3.

Going back to Icy Veins to study some more, and we’ll be ready to roll.

Today is a good day to wipe.


  1. Which may still be recruiting, incidentally. []
  2. Yes, I know I was using TellMeWhen, but it lacks two crucial features, so…. []
  3. As in amplifier design, there’s Peak DPS, and Average DPS. Bursty is good when you need it, but DPS fights generally rely on sustained, or average, DPS rather than burst, or peak DPS. No point, just an interesting observation – if you’re me. []

Comments 4 Comments »

In Burning Crusade, I had just started playing in earnest as a Hunter1. I just kinda joined in with the group once I got to level 70. In Wrath of the Lich King, we had a serious guild blow-up so nobody was ready to raid until after 3.1. In Cataclysm, Eff the Ineffable was still getting it together and we didn’t start raiding until around February, a few months after release of 4.0.3.  

So here we are in Pandaland, and I find myself a bit rushed.  Raiding starts this weekend, and until last night, I wasn’t even the right level!

In a way, I illogically resent the need to hurry.  I prefer to take my time, smell the Peacebloom, and take it all in.

But, nobody’s holding a gun to my head. I don’t HAVE to be in that first raid. I might not have a guaranteed place in the future, but that’s the price you pay for being less committed to raiding than your team mates.

So the truth is, I want to be there, if there’s a spot, and I made that choice without any coersion. So I should put on my big dorf pants2 and get as prepared as I can in the time remaining.

I’ll still have a chance to lollygag. Jasra, Flora, and Illume are all going to progress through the content a bit slower, though Jas may have to hurry a bit if the Bunnies start thinking about raiding in the near future. But that would be unusual, that’s one laid back group of peeps. :)

It’s pretty odd, by the way, to ding 90 and be nowhere near the final zone of the expansion. And I didn’t even start out with rested XP. 


  1. Grimm Mk 1 was a warrior, don’t ask me what spec because I clearly had no clue even then! []
  2. Normally we don’t wear any under the tabard. []

Comments Comments Off

She woke up alone, as was often the case.  The early morning sounds of Dalaran wafted through the open window.  Not what it used to be, she thought. Dalaran after the Cataclysm was much quieter, even restful for the weary souls left in the wake of Arthas’ demise. Even the air seemed more invigorating than it was elsewhere in Northrend.

When she sat up, she noticed a rose on the pillow next to hers. The stem was wrapped in a bit of parchment, and the parchment in turn wrapped with a red ribbon.  Smiling, she untied the ribbon and read the note therein.

Today’s your first day back on the job!  No matter what, we’re all very proud of you!

– A.

First day back. Right.  Oh, bother.

Rubbing her eyes blearily, she set about getting ready for the day ahead. Checking her lists, and making sure her things were packed right. Every bit of gear gemmed just so, enchanted correctly, reforged, in what the Sisters at the Temple assured her, with the latest configuration for a successful Discipline priest.

On her dresser was another letter. For what seemed like the thousandth time, she picked it up. It had arrived three days ago, and her life had Officially Been Turned Upside-Down as a result.

Jasra,

The time has come, lass; we need you.  I’m not sure what is going on in this new place that the Navy has found, but we know the Horde’s on the move after they destroyed Theramore, and this is likely the next place they’ll be poking around. The Alliance needs all the good healers it can muster, so I have to ask; will you lend a hand?

I wish I could let you stay where you are for the duration without even asking; you earned your "retirement" in Icecrown.  And even if you choose not to come, I won’t argue; it’s your decision.

However, should you  decide to return to "active duty", see Sky Admiral Rogers in Stormwind. I’ve put a good word in for you, so she’ll be watching out for your arrival.  I think you’ll like her. She reminds me of Flora, but with more angries.

I have to close now; the Skyfire’s leaving within the hour. I’ll be scouting ahead to see what’s what. Hopefully we’ll get together in some agreeable tavern in this place called "Panderia".

Your favorite uncle,

Grimmtooth

Well, if it was him asking, she wasn’t going to let him down.


She had left but she always found herself coming back here. The years after Arthas’ fall had been spent here with the Azuregazes at the Legerdemain, doing such exciting things as making beds, preparing cheese platters, and serving wine to guests that had no idea that their serving wench had once stood before Arthas’ most terrifying creations without flinching. 

It was blissfully, quietly, wonderfully, uneventful.

Evenings were spent with Arille and Amisi, in a warmth that had nothing to do with hearths and everything to do with how her heart spoke to her.

Grimmtooth and his clan would always be her "family", and just a word from any of them would bring her to their side. As near as made no difference, even if not of her blood, they might as well have been.

But Amisi and Arille had found a way into her heart that was unlike anything she had felt before. Her family "of choice", then?

And now she had to leave one family to help the other.


Properly dressed and packed, she drifted down to the common room of the inn for breakfast. Arille grinned and waggled a hand at her as she took her accustomed table. Early morning tasks for him included taking inventory and restocking for the night to come, but he was never too busy to make her feel at home.

Enjoying a light meal of cheese, fruit, and mulled wine, she went over her lists once again.  She almost didn’t notice Amisi coming down the stairs. Her smile shone out amid her dusky complexion.  "Well, you’re up early."

Jasra smiled back; "You may have snuck off without waking me, but I did notice." 

Amisi motioned her up. "Well, let’s have a look at you. After close to two years in retirement, I’m not sure you remember how to dress yourself."  Dutifully, the grinning Night Elf stood and bowed.  "I stand ready for inspection, madam."

Sizing Her Up

Amisi looked up at her. "Your halo’s on crooked."  Jasra’s grin got wider. "This surprises you?"  As Amisi reached up to adjust it, Jasra reached out to stop her.  "Don’t bother, the thing never sits straight on me anyway." Amisi chuckled. "Well, all right then."  She took a seat at Jasra’s table, and Jasra reseated herself.

They traded small talk and ate for a while, then Amisi took on a serious mien. "No matter where you go, you always have this place to come home to.  We’ll miss every moment you’re gone. Nothing will be the same without you here. Come back as soon as you can."

"I will. You two are the only reason I can even go out there."  Looking around, she realized everything was prepared.  "I guess it’s time for me to go, isn’t it?"  Amisi’s sad smile was her only answer.

Standing, she hefted her pack and her staff. "I’ll be back as soon as I can. "  A quick grin; "Don’t sell my stuff."

As she passed the bar, Arille stepped out to block her path.  "You’re not getting out of here without a hug, m’dear."  His voice was rough for a change; his hug was warm and welcome, as always. "Don’t embarrass us", he whispered in to her ear, and then ducked back behind the bar, laughing. Nobody ever warned me that Highborn had a such an odd sense of humor.

As she turned, Amisi was waiting. "What he said", as she hugged Jasra. "Come back to us."

Jasra stepped foot outside of the Legerdemain. Looking back, she saw comfort, good friends, and more. Looking forward, uncertainty. Danger. Excitement. She grinned at the Unknown.  "Well, let’s get this thing started, shall we?"  Calling her favorite flying carpet, she set out of for the portal to Stormwind – and new adventures.

ext-jas-leaving


OOC-ly, beware the 4th wall

I’ve been rewriting this for weeks.

In a way, Jasra represents all that soured me on raiding in Wrath; not the events themselves, but an inability to deal with certain things in her environment. Thus, when Cata came out, Jasra gave voice to those feelings. It was months later before Grimm found a home with the Effers, which profoundly changed my outlook and helped me gain a certain perspective.  Thus setting the stage, Flora came along and helped advise the Bunnies in some seriously late but fashionable T11 and T12 raiding, and it was good.

To make this possible, the Bunnies’ long-suffering GM set aside her main, a mage, and filled in for Team Heals. Her main, therefore, didn’t see ANY tier gear, and what she had was purchased from endless nights of grinding Heroics.  In the end, even she burned out and we pretty much only saw her on our two designated raid nights.

So, guilty feelings, I has some.  Even if it’s not justified.  But also if it is.

Having mentally mended some fences and resolved to be more a grown-up about some things (seriously interesting concept when you consider my RL age), it was decided that our dear GM should get a chance to shine with her mage once again, and Jas was just going to have to suck it in and start flinging Frisbees again.  I think our GM will be happy with Frost’s new idioms, and she, like Illume, has been fond of the Frosty ways, so it’ll be a homecoming for her, of sorts.

It’s just a damned shame that playing Warlocks is so much FUN now.   But it’s worth it if it brings a smile to our GM’s face and motivates her to come out and play more often.  And I get that she’s reluctant to let go of the priest altogether, so Flora may see some action from time to time after all.

The mood of this piece is one of awakening, of renewal, and of finding one’s place in the world. Jasra had a place in the world, lost it, found a new place in the world, and now she’s going to try to keep both within her grasp.  I won’t say exactly what kind of relationship she has with the Azuregazes, as it’s more fun not to know, but it’s a deep connection, and it will be kept alive.

In closing, and totally unrelated: getting the damned Halo to work right in WoW Model Viewer is a gigantic pain in the bottom. It would be a lot easier with true chroma-key software, but one goes to blog with the tools one has, not the tools one wants. In the end, it was just easier to shoop it in manually. Bleah.

And now we hit "publish."

Comments Comments Off

Recently, Blizz announced that raiding content in MoP will be gated, which is to say, on Day One there will be no entry to raid instances.

This, of course, is regarded as a bad idea by some people.  Not, mind you, people that I am in general agreement with.

On September 25, 2012, Mists of Panderia will go live.  For most of us, that means lots of new content.  But to a small subset of people, a sliver on the Big Pie Chart of WoW Subscribers, it means that they need to race AS FAST AS POSSIBLE to level 90 so they can start wiping on the first raid boss.  This triggers the start of the race to World First boss kills.

Implied FacepalmNow, the reason I don’t see eye to eye with these people is because it seems to me to be abjectly stupid to pay for something that you’re not going to use most of.  And, if you’re ever followed my angry tweets, you know that one thing that really gets my kilt in a twist is abject stupidity.

Now, if you’re at all engaged at this moment, you’re probably wondering why I give a damn what someone else does with his or her life. And that’s a very good question.  Best I can explain, I’m just sick and tired of enabling the foolish and entitled people of the world.  I’m just over that. Time and test cycles are best spent elsewhere.

Yes, I realize this comes down on what is considered the lesser side of the casual v. hardcore debate. I don’t really care. The opinion of those that feel entitled to a leet hardcore experience, at my expense at times1, is something I just don’t give two waggles for.

I’m glad to see Blizzard finally getting just as tired as I am of this sort of stuff.  It’s as if they’re saying, "Fine, you want to ignore all our hard work and go straight to endgame? Be our guest. Next week, after we’ve stabilized things enough to care about .05%2 of the player base’s complaints about how the endgame content isn’t juuuuust right."

Maybe you feel I’m being harsh.  Well, I know what harsh looks like.  Have a look.

At least I haven’t insulted anyone’s mom.

At any rate, I think it’s a great idea for keeping the anticipation going as we3 may or may not bump up against the gate.  Maybe there’s an achievement for a full clear of the previous raid’s Heroic content before the next comes online. Maybe they’ll tell a story4 as part of the gating. Whatever it is, I insist on having fun doing it,and feeling not the least guilty about not being in the top one percent of the top ten percent, or whatevers.

I hope that doesn’t offend anyone. But if it does, feel free to call me out on the forums.  Or, here, if you want an actual response. :-D


  1. Hello, 25-man-only instances in Vanilla and BC. []
  2. This number is totally made up, by myself, by the way. []
  3. By which I mean, the vast majority of raiders, which is still a tiny, infinitesimal sliver of the total player base. []
  4. Leetsauce raidrs go "BOOOORING!" []

Comments 4 Comments »

As a public service, I share this advice.

If anyone in your raid suddenly types or says the equivalent of "BRB, roach emergency!", it is probably not because he dropped his doobie down his pants.

I defy anyone to raid effectively with a three-inch Florida Palmetto Bug at large in the living room.

Or with a spouse that is in that situation.

That is all.

Comments Comments Off

In which I realize that WoW raiding and software development have a common element.

twit1-1twit1-2twit1-3twit1-4

How does this relate to raiding? Well, it has to do with learning from one’s mistakes.

In the software development world, we have to face the same old problems repeatedly because, instead of defining what a product should do clearly, we just say "it should do what the old one did" and then re-implement the same old mistakes.  Since we are implementing "anew", our regression test suite often drops product-specific test cases and misses it initially. Which always devolves into exchanges like "why didn’t you test this?" followed by "we didn’t realize it was THERE."

Software developer Jamie Zawinski stated the syndrome fairly well as CADT – Cascade of Attention-Deficit Teenagers. Its fairly universal across the development world. I’ve often stated it as "developers like bright shiny things." Code monkey not want fix broken code. CODE MONKEY WANT MAKE NEW CODE FOR OTHER CODE MONKEY TO FIX.

Now, imagine if we raided that way. Maybe you’ve actually BEEN in a raid lead that way. After one or two tries doing it THIS WAY with mild improvements, we switch to a WHOLE NEW WAY, fail a couple of times, then switch again, and again, and so forth. In other words, we never execute any raid strat fully, just creating new ones that – we promise – won’t fail like the last one.

Well, that’s just silly. All good raid teams know that it takes time and patience and practice and, most importantly, LEARNING in order to get anywhere on a new raid boss. How to catch the signs that mean you should blow a defensive cooldown. When to notice that the adds are about to come out. The signs that now is the time to use that special boss button. Watching a vid only helps so much. Doing – and, more importantly – failing will fill in those final blanks and make it possible to progress to the next task in the chain towards the boss kill.

If all software development progressed like raid progression for successful raiding teams, our world would have much more awesome software and far less jaundiced eye-rolling as we faced yet another BSOD as reward for trying to save our work.

So there’s a take-away for the successful raid leader. If you can lead a raid team through progression, you have skills valuable in the software development industry. If you put it that way to your prospective boss, you’ll get some odd looks, but I’m sure you’ll find a way to explain it. You are, after all, obviously pretty bright. :)

Comments Comments Off